Edna Dyson of Houston was mauled by two pit bulls while attending to a rental property on Swiss Lane in south Houston. The pit bulls, owned by a neighbor, escaped through a hole in the fence and attacked her while she was tending to the yard.
Ms. Dyson was able to crawl to her car and climb inside where she passed out and remained until help arrived two hours later. She has undergone surgery and is still in ICU.
Under the state of current Texas law, a pit bull owner can potentially escape liability by claiming the dogs had never gotten out and attacked before. Holding these owners responsible may come down to proving that either the dogs had attacked before.
Moreover, if the home where the animal was kept was a rental property, such that only the homeowner had homeowners insurance, the homeowner may escape liability unless it can be shown the homeowner had actual knowledge of the dogs, knowledge of their dangerous propensities and knowledge of the state of disrepair of the fence.
This case highlights why Texas law is inadequate to protect citizens from being victims of dog attacks and why we need breed-specific legislation in Texas. Furthermore, it highlights why someone attacked by a dog in Houston needs to hire a knowledgeable dog bite attorney to handle their case. These cases often require extensive discovery and investigation to hold the dog and/or property owners responsible for failing to restrain and control their dogs. Call Simmons and Fletcher to speak to a dog bite lawyer today.